Fast Like a Girl cheat sheet

Fast Like a Girl cheat sheet. Explore our ultimate lifestyle quick reference for Fast Like a Girl.

This comprehensive cheat sheet on "Fast Like a Girl" provides a detailed guide to intermittent fasting tailored for women. It covers the basics of fasting, the impact of hormonal cycles, specific fasting protocols, tips for success, and answers to frequently asked questions. For more detailed information and resources, visit Dr. Mindy Pelz’s official website and Reset Academy



Intermittent fasting (IF) involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. This method can help manage weight, improve metabolic health, and potentially extend lifespan. Dr. Mindy Pelz’s approach tailors fasting schedules to women’s hormonal cycles.

Benefits of Fasting

  • Weight management
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Enhanced mental clarity
  • Increased energy levels
  • Cellular repair and autophagy

Understanding Hormonal Cycles

Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

  • Follicular Phase: Begins on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation.
  • Ovulation Phase: Typically occurs mid-cycle, around day 14.
  • Luteal Phase: Post-ovulation phase lasting until the start of menstruation.
  • Menstrual Phase: The shedding of the uterine lining.

Hormonal Changes and Fasting

  • Estrogen Rise: During the follicular phase, higher estrogen levels can enhance the benefits of fasting.
  • Progesterone Increase: In the luteal phase, higher progesterone levels may require adjustments in fasting practices.

Fasting Schedules and Protocols

Daily Intermittent Fasting Options

  • 16:8: Fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window.
  • 18:6: Fast for 18 hours and eat during a 6-hour window.

Extended Fasting Protocols

  • 24-hour Fast: Eat one meal a day.
  • 36-hour Fast: Fast for a full day and overnight.

Menstrual Cycle-Based Fasting

  • Adjust fasting lengths and intensity based on the phase of your menstrual cycle.

Phase-Specific Fasting Guidelines

Follicular Phase Fasting

  • Ideal for longer fasts and more intense workouts due to higher estrogen levels.

Ovulation Phase Fasting

  • Continue with regular fasting schedules but be mindful of ovulation-related changes in energy and appetite.

Luteal Phase Fasting

  • Shorter fasts and more nutrient-dense foods to support higher progesterone levels.

Menstrual Phase Fasting

  • Gentle fasting and focusing on rest and recovery.

Food Recommendations

What to Eat During Each Phase

  • Follicular Phase: Lean proteins, healthy fats, and leafy greens.
  • Ovulation Phase: Antioxidant-rich foods like berries and dark chocolate.
  • Luteal Phase: Complex carbohydrates and magnesium-rich foods.
  • Menstrual Phase: Iron-rich foods like spinach and red meat.

Hormone-Balancing Foods

  • Include foods like flaxseeds, avocados, and cruciferous vegetables to support hormonal health.

Fasting-Friendly Recipes

  • Smoothies, salads, and balanced meals that align with fasting periods and support hormonal balance.

Tips for Success

Managing Hunger and Cravings

  • Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and include fiber-rich foods in your diet.

Hydration and Electrolytes

  • Ensure adequate hydration and consider electrolyte supplements if needed.

Exercise and Fasting

  • Tailor exercise intensity to your fasting schedule and menstrual cycle phase.

Sleep and Stress Management

  • Prioritize good sleep hygiene and stress-reducing practices like meditation and yoga.

Special Considerations

Fasting for Post-Menopausal Women

  • Adjust fasting protocols to suit hormonal changes and focus on bone health and muscle maintenance.

Adjusting Fasting for Health Conditions

  • Consult with a healthcare provider to tailor fasting practices to specific health needs and conditions.

When to Avoid Fasting

  • Avoid fasting if pregnant, breastfeeding, or dealing with certain health conditions without medical advice.

Tracking and Monitoring Progress

How to Track Your Fasting and Menstrual Cycle

  • Use apps or journals to record fasting windows, menstrual cycle phases, and any symptoms or changes.

Key Indicators of Success

  • Monitor weight, energy levels, mood, and overall well-being to gauge the effectiveness of your fasting routine.

Resources and Further Reading

Books and Articles

  • Recommended reading includes Dr. Mindy Pelz's "Fast Like a Girl" and related articles on intermittent fasting for women.

Online Communities and Support Groups

  • Join forums and social media groups for support, shared experiences, and additional resources.


Fasting Basics

Q: Can I drink coffee during my fasting window?
A: Yes, black coffee is generally acceptable as it does not break your fast. However, avoid adding sugar, milk, or cream as these can break your fast.

Q: When does my fasting window start?
A: Your fasting window starts after your last meal. For example, if you finish dinner at 7 PM and plan to do a 16-hour fast, your eating window will open at 11 AM the next day.

Q: What is the best fasting protocol for beginners?
A: Beginners often start with a 12:12 or 14:10 protocol and gradually work up to 16:8 as they become more comfortable with fasting.

Managing Hunger and Cravings

Q: How can I manage hunger during fasting?
A: Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and coffee. Eating high-fiber foods and healthy fats during your eating window can help keep you satiated longer.

Q: Is it normal to feel hungry during fasting?
A: Yes, it's common to feel hungry, especially when you first start. Your body needs time to adjust to the new eating pattern. Over time, hunger pangs typically decrease.

Exercise and Fasting

Q: Can I work out while fasting?
A: Yes, but listen to your body. Light to moderate exercise is generally okay. For intense workouts, you might want to schedule them during your eating window or after a small meal.

Q: What types of exercise are best during fasting?
A: Low-intensity activities like walking, yoga, and light cardio are ideal. Strength training can also be beneficial but may require adjustments based on your energy levels.

Hydration and Supplements

Q: Should I take supplements while fasting?
A: Yes, certain supplements like electrolytes can be beneficial. Ensure you are getting enough sodium, potassium, and magnesium, especially if you are doing extended fasting.

Q: How much water should I drink during my fasting window?
A: Aim for at least 8-10 cups of water a day. Staying hydrated helps manage hunger and maintain energy levels.

Special Considerations for Women

Q: How should I adjust fasting during my menstrual cycle?
A: Adjust the length and intensity of fasting according to your cycle phases. Shorten fasting windows during the luteal phase and menstruation when the body requires more energy.

Q: Is fasting safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
A: No, fasting is generally not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the increased nutritional needs during these periods.

Health Conditions and Fasting

Q: Can I fast if I have diabetes?
A: Consult your healthcare provider before starting any fasting regimen if you have diabetes. Blood sugar levels need to be carefully monitored.

Q: Should people with thyroid issues fast?
A: Those with thyroid conditions should consult their healthcare provider as fasting can affect thyroid hormone levels and medication efficacy.


Q: What if I feel dizzy or weak while fasting?
A: Break your fast and eat a small, balanced meal. It's important to listen to your body. Ensure you are staying hydrated and consuming enough electrolytes.

Q: Why am I not losing weight even though I am fasting?
A: Several factors can affect weight loss, including calorie intake, types of foods consumed, stress levels, sleep quality, and hormonal imbalances. Assess these areas and make adjustments as needed.

Q: What should I do if I hit a weight loss plateau?
A: Try varying your fasting schedule, incorporating more physical activity, ensuring you're eating nutrient-dense foods, and managing stress and sleep better.